Poor Barbara Desoer, said David Mildenberg and Lisa Kassenaar in Bloomberg.com. The longtime Bank of America executive was put in charge of the bank’s home-loan operation in 2008, when BofA paid $2.5 billion to acquire Countrywide Financial, the mortgage mill whose loans make up more than 75 percent of BofA’s mortgage portfolio—and about 20 percent of all U.S. mortgages. Since then, she has been “besieged” with soaring delinquencies, investigations into the bank’s lending practices, and, for the past few months, furious controversy over the bank’s handling of foreclosures. “Nobody in the history of mortgage banking has had to deal with what Desoer has,” says a former Countrywide executive.
Cry me a river, said Abigail Field in DailyFinance.com. Unlike hard-pressed borrowers, bankers like Desoer “have the power to transform the situation anytime they choose.” Desoer did just that when she temporarily halted BofA’s foreclosure actions. If she’s feeling besieged, she should blame her bosses, who drove the bank to make thousands of “crazy loans.” And if she wants some relief, she can hire enough competent people to unsnarl the foreclosure mess that her unit’s sloppy methods created.